Does Smoking Cause Depression?. Smoking which is the leading cause of various health issues also causes depression. Whilst people believe that depression leads to smoking, it’s the other way round. Smoking causes depression. Find out more.
It is a general notion that depressed people smoke to feel better and gradually cope up. On the contrary, smokers gradually develop depression, down the line. Studies which confirm that smoking causes depression are delineated below.
Studies Establishing How Smoking Causes Depression
A new study reveals that smoking actually causes depression. The study surveyed 3,000 people in the St. Louis area. The results showed that while smokers had a 6.6 per cent risk of developing lifetime frequency of major depression; it was 2.9 per cent for non-smokers.
The Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) survey revealed that about 70% of male habitual smokers and 80% of female habitual smokers had major depression. The study also established that 30% of smokers show some symptoms of depression.
The Henry Ford Health System study confirmed that daily smokers (a person who smokes daily for one or more months) are twice at more risk of developing major depression than occasional smokers.
Some neurobiologic evidences also confirm the fact that tobacco smoke plays a crucial role in causing depression.
Why Smoking Causes Depression?
Smoking causes depression because of the withdrawal from a physically and psychologically addictive substance, called nicotine.
Nicotine which acts as a receptor for the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, indirectly stimulates the release of another neurotransmitter, dopamine, in the brain’s reward or motivation center. Eventually the brain becomes so much adapted to the presence of the drug that it no longer functions normally without it. After 20-30 minutes of smoking the last cigarette, nicotine withdrawal begins. This leads to anxiety, which is very closely related to depression.
Smoking as well as quitting smoking, both cause depression. Depression occurs when the smoker tries to abstain himself from smoking.
Ways To Quit Smoking
The smoker, though, undergoes depression after giving up smoking, health experts advise to quit it completely. They advise to replace nicotine with nasal spray, or chewing gum which can is quite effective in giving up smoking.
The antidepressant, bupropion (Wellbutrin), marketed under the name Zyban, is very beneficial for smokers to quit smoking.
Cognitive and behavioural therapies also help smokers to quit smoking. These therapies also treat depression.
In behaviour therapy the stimulus-response associations that lead to smoking are altered. Smokers are rewarded for not smoking. Moreover, the patients are provided help to solve problems and manage stress.
Cognitive therapy helps the depressed heavy smokers to quit smoking. It teaches patients to cope with the thoughts that lead to loss of control after a temporary relapse. It also imparts training on how to avoid catastrophic discouragement after a temporary relapse.
Depression, which is caused by smoking, can be effectively treated by giving it up. So quit smoking and lead a blissful life.